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the perennial tape brand question


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#1 Ruby Gold

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 02:44 PM

I've been shooting small projects using FujiFilm mini-dv tape without incident for a couple years. Recently I started seeing small glitches in my captured clips (I capture using a Sony clamshell--mini VCR). I sent my camera to Canon to be serviced, used a Panasonic head cleaner to clean the clamshell, and am now wondering if I should seize the opportunity of "clean" tape heads to switch tape to Panasonic or Sony. Anybody have anything good or bad to say about FujiFilm quality vs. these other brands?
thanks!
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 04:00 PM

I've been shooting small projects using FujiFilm mini-dv tape without incident for a couple years. Recently I started seeing small glitches in my captured clips (I capture using a Sony clamshell--mini VCR). I sent my camera to Canon to be serviced, used a Panasonic head cleaner to clean the clamshell, and am now wondering if I should seize the opportunity of "clean" tape heads to switch tape to Panasonic or Sony. Anybody have anything good or bad to say about FujiFilm quality vs. these other brands?
thanks!



I've never used Fuji but I've never had a single problem using new Sony tapes.
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#3 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 09 December 2005 - 09:44 PM

I've been shooting small projects using FujiFilm mini-dv tape ... Recently I started seeing small glitches in my captured clips ... Anybody have anything good or bad to say about FujiFilm quality vs. ... other brands?

Fuji videotape is often one of the least expensive digital videotape brands available, especially compared to Panasonic and Sony brand videotape. IMHO, the latter two consistently seem to be the best quality, at least in terms of reliability. Differences in image/sound quality among digital videotape brands can be more difficult to quantify, if at all. But in general, "You get what you pay for."

You did mention, however, that you've used Fuji tape problem-free for two years. Unless Fuji tape quality has recently changed for the worse (possible, but unlikely) there's reason to expect you might not have a problem with it again for quite some time. So, perhaps there's no reason to change tape brands at this point.

But, if the mechanism or heads in your cam or deck are wearing out that might be the cause of the problem you report. It's difficult to say from this distance, regrets.

Since Fuji tape _might_ be lower quality -- and possibly more abrasive -- compared to Panasonic or Sony tape, there's a chance you might slightly lengthen the life of your cam & deck in addition to lowering the odds of encountering glitches caused by tape drop out and such.

If your cam & deck have actually been thoroughly cleaned, there may no longer be accumulated Fuji tape lubricant "gunk" coating the tape-contact surfaces within your equipment. If so, switching to a different tape brand at this point might be problem-free. Since different videotape brands use different, incompatible lubricants, in general you want to avoid switching among brands unless the tape transport has been cleaned first.

Videotape is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of a camcorder or the "value" of an entire production. "Saving" money on videotape is sometimes a false economy, but as they say, your mileage may vary.

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo
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#4 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 16 December 2005 - 09:13 PM

I've had bad experiences with sony minidv tapes before, including tape breakages (grrr). I generally use either TDK(i like the softer plasic cases) or PANASONIC tapes with the occasional fugi mixed in if i get desperate, fugi dont seem to give really noticable issues.
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#5 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 07:42 AM

I've been using Sony mini-DV tapes (DVCAM) for 5 years and I've not had one single problem. Using the "consumer" tapes can, and will, lead to a problem sooner or later. As in all things... You get what you pay for.
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#6 Erdwolf_TVL

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 05:10 PM

I've never had problems with consumer-grade FUJI tapes in either Hi8 or DV.

On the other hand, I have lost 4 SONY Hi8 and 6 SONY Mini DV tapes to jamming and/or coating disintegration over the past five years.

Edited by Erdwolf_TVL, 18 December 2005 - 05:11 PM.

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